Chapter 9 - Collections

Collections law is somewhat similar to construction law, only the competition among lawyers for it is greater. It is more "boiler-plate" since the nuances of mechanic's liens are not in the equation. Therefore, more attorneys are qualified to handle generic collections.

Collecting against consumers is not a good staple. It really is hard to squeeze blood from turnips. Collections against businesses (business to business transactions) are more suited for litigation and tend more to justify the cost of an attorney. Therefore, repeat business for commercial collections will come with regularity.

It is good to have a reasonable mastery of property exemption laws in your jurisdiction. These are laws which prevent creditors from seizing certain assets presumed to be so basic to life's needs that the law simply prohibits seizing them. Also, familiarize yourself with any versions of fair debt collection practices acts. These generally apply only to household and family consumers and not to businesses. Know them to be sure you are in compliance. Despite some over-emphasis and paranoia which derives from a concern about violations of such acts, the reality is that you need to be familiar with them and that is about all.

Also, know the laws on how to collect judgments. You MUST know this if you are to be effective for your clients. This does not mean you will collect all the judgments, but you certainly cannot afford to allow a judgment to remain uncollected simply because the debtor does not feel like paying.

Just like with construction law, collections involves businesses with owners and employees. Additional legal work will derive from these owners and employees. You just need to be versatile enough to handle it. One of the last things you want to do is lack versatility. In fact ...


2015, Jeff M